This was probably not the start anyone expected in Boston in terms of the final outcome, but the performance was more than acceptable.
The Boston Celtics started their rebuilding efforts with a loss against the Toronto Raptors as the team got wore down, rallied back but ended up losing 87-93 in their season opener at the Air Canada Center.
The Celtics got off to a quick start as they ended the first quarter leading, but they were unable to recover momentum after that. The Raptors outplayed Boston as DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay looked almost unstoppable despite having solid defenders in front of them like Avery Bradley and Gerald Wallace.
The Celtics were able to rally back in the third quarter and they were able to keep themselves alive until late in the game, but turnovers and some costly mistakes on both ends of the court ended up leaning the balance towards the Raptors, who ended the game red-hot offensively to pick up their first win of the season.
It’s worth noticing that there are several positives going forward for Boston. Jeff Green showed he can carry the offense when given the chance, and rookie Vitor Faverani was a bright surprise as well, scoring 13 points and looking rather dominant at times. The overall effort and grit of the team needs to be highlighted as well, as they never stopped playing hard.
Despite some good performances, the offensive scheme needs some serious tuning. The team wasn’t able to shoot the ball efficiently and looked lost at times. It was noticeable that Rajon Rondo wasn’t on the court, and head coach Brad Stevens must have the feeling that this team can get much better once their star point guard is available once again.
The defense also needs some work. The Celtics were out-rebounded heavily, and they also need to be more careful with the ball as they turned the ball a whopping 22 times.
It is clear that the Celtics need a lot of work if they want to at least make a push for a seed in the East this season. However, they need to focus on the positives because if they can tighten up their defense, this should be a much-improved team once everyone is healthy.